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Cadillac Fairview

The Company

Cadillac Fairview is one of North America's largest investors, owners and managers of commercial real estate. Cadillac Fairview focuses on high quality retail centres and office properties in Canada and the United States and also oversees equity investments in real estate companies and international investment funds. With a portfolio valued at over $10 billion, Cadillac Fairview and its affiliates own and manage over 100 properties, including some of Canada's landmark developments such as the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Le Carrefour Laval, and Pacific Centre.

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The Business Issue

Cadillac Fairview wanted to replace a large paper-based leasing binder, the "bible" of their business, and move it online.

The binder contained critical information about all their Canadian properties for leasing managers and agents, including square footage, floor maps, leasing manager, location, demographics and any additional information relevant to the property.

An online, real-time version of the leasing binder could be updated nightly and accessed via the web. This would provide their agents with access to updated property information at any given moment.

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The Challenge

Moving the leasing binder online, though it would solve many issues with the existing format, presented no small challenge.

The issues with the existing format were:
  • Time: The paper-based solution took three full-time people three months to produce, and was reviewed by each leasing manager (20-40 people).
  • Content Freshness: Content was out dated as soon as the binder was printed and distributed. In a highly time-sensitive industry, up to date property status information was never available.
  • Cost: 1300 copies of the leasing binder were issued annually at a production cost of $350,000. Delivering the binders by mail and courier cost an additional $40,000.
  • Data Capture and Management: The accumulation of information was cumbersome: data was captured differently by different departments, but needed to be displayed consistently. Further, there were no existing processes or guidelines for how the data was received.
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The Process

Phase One: Information Gathering
  • Two months of planning, meetings and interviews with stakeholders

Phase Two: Architecture and Design
  • Two month process with weekly updates and ongoing changes
  • In-person meetings every other week
  • Cadillac Fairview had online access to the project to monitor progress

Phase Three: Development and Testing/QA
  • A beta test site with four properties was tested for two months
  • Results were so successful that Cadillac Fairview decided to go live with all forty plus properties
  • The project was delivered on time and on budget
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The Outcome is the new Cadillac Fairview leasing binder - online. The website allows brokers, property managers, Cadillac Fairview employees and potential lessors to interact with property information on an efficient, as-needed basis. The site also functions as a portal for data collection and is available in both French and English, updated daily so that property information for all forty properties is always up to date.


  • Information needed to be up-to-date, in real-time if possible.
  • Information is now available real-time via the web
  • The company wanted a technologically innovative, leading edge solution.
  • Seamless, innovative integration of a variety of technologies
Security and Access Restrictions:Security and Access Restrictions:
  • The solution needed to provide different levels of access to different stakeholders (brokers, public, and leasing managers).
  • Three levels of security are available via Domino ACL (access control list)
  • Administration such as adding users can be achieved using the web client
Data Capture and Management:Data Capture and Management:
  • Data was coming from a variety of different sources, many of which were never intended to interact.
  • Information still needed to be outputted in the hard-copy leasing binder for any offline clients.
  • Seamlessly achieved via web administration
  • Wanted to reduce production and delivery costs with immediate ROI
  • The new solution broke even during the first year of its use
  • The site needed to be easy to maintain by non-technical people.
  • All content had to be edited in a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) administration client that could be easily used by staff who had no knowledge of HTML.
  • All maintenance can now be done internally
  • The solution offers great flexibility and control (right down to display font and colour)
  • The entire solution needed to be bilingual (French and English).
  • The entire solution is now bilingual - one version of data, duplicate interface
User Interface:User Interface:
  • The solution required a highly usable front end for users with a variety of web experience
  • Accolades have poured in for the interface
  • Solution needed to be accessible anywhere anytime.
  • Solution can be used from anywhere